MLB Playoffs 2022: Updated AL, NL Standings and Postseason Picture for New Format

Erin WalshAugust 22, 2022

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is more than halfway over, and teams are beginning to make their final pushes for a chance to compete in the postseason and a World Series title.

Some teams are essentially locks to make the playoffs, including the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets, but there are many others either on the cusp or looking to improve their seeding.

With the regular season set to wrap up Oct. 5, let's take a closer look at the updated American and National League standings, the current playoff picture and this year's new format.

American League Standings

AL East

  1. New York Yankees: 74-48
  2. Tampa Bay Rays: 65-55, 8.0 GB
  3. Toronto Blue Jays: 65-55, 8.0 GB
  4. Baltimore Orioles: 63-58, 10.5 GB
  5. Boston Red Sox: 60-62, 14.0 GB

AL Central

  1. Cleveland Guardians: 64-56
  2. Minnesota Twins: 62-57, 1.5 GB
  3. Chicago White Sox: 62-59, 2.5 GB
  4. Kansas City Royals: 49-74, 16.5 GB
  5. Detroit Tigers: 47-76, 18.5 GB

AL West

  1. Houston Astros: 78-45
  2. Seattle Mariners: 66-56, 11.5 GB
  3. Texas Rangers: 55-66, 22.0 GB
  4. Los Angeles Angels: 52-69, 25.0 GB
  5. Oakland Athletics: 45-77, 32.5 GB

National League Standings

NL East

  1. New York Mets: 79-44
  2. Atlanta Braves: 75-48, 4.0 GB
  3. Philadelphia Phillies: 66-55, 12.0 GB
  4. Miami Marlins: 52-69, 26.0 GB
  5. Washington Nationals: 41-82, 38.0 GB

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals: 69-51
  2. Milwaukee Brewers: 64-56, 5.0 GB
  3. Chicago Cubs: 52-68, 17.0 GB
  4. Cincinnati Reds: 48-71, 20.5 GB
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 47-74, 22.5 GB

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 84-36
  2. San Diego Padres: 68-56, 18.0 GB
  3. San Francisco Giants: 60-61, 24.5 GB
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks: 55-66, 29.5 GB
  5. Colorado Rockies: 53-70, 32.5 GB

New Format Breakdown

Ahead of the 2022 campaign, MLB unveiled a new postseason format that expands the number of wild-card teams from two per league to three.

The single-elimination Wild Card Game, used from 2012 to 2019 and again in 2021, has been replaced by two best-of-three Wild Card series.

Here's a breakdown of how the teams will be seeded:

  • No. 1 seed: Best AL/NL record
  • No. 2 seed: Second-best division winner
  • No. 3 seed: Third-best division winner
  • No. 4 seed: Best record among wild-card teams
  • No. 5 seed: Second-best record among wild-card teams
  • No. 6 seed: Third-best record among wild-card teams

The top two seeds in each league will earn a first-round bye and automatically advance to the division series. The No. 3 seed will face the No. 6 seed, and the No. 4 seed will face the No. 5 seed to determine which moves on.

The division series, championship series and World Series formats will remain the same.

Current Playoff Picture

American League

No. 1 seed: Houston Astros (78-45), first-round bye

No. 2 seed: New York Yankees (74-48), first-round bye

No. 3 seed: Cleveland Guardians (64-56) vs. No. 6 seed: Seattle Mariners (66-56)

No. 4 seed: Tampa Bay Rays (65-55) vs. No. 5 seed: Toronto Blue Jays (65-55)

AL Teams in the Hunt

Minnesota Twins (62-57): 2.5 WCGB

Baltimore Orioles (63-58): 2.5 WCGB

Chicago White Sox (62-59): 3.5 WCGB

Boston Red Sox (60-62): 6.0 WCGB

National League

No. 1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers (84-36), first-round bye

No. 2 seed: New York Mets (79-44), first-round bye

No. 3 seed: St. Louis Cardinals (69-51) vs. No. 6 seed: Philadelphia Phillies (66-55)

No. 4 seed: Atlanta Braves (75-48) vs. No. 5 seed: San Diego Padres (68-56)

NL Teams in the Hunt

Milwaukee Brewers: 64-56, 1.5 WCGB

San Francisco Giants: 60-61, 6.0 WCGB

At one point, it appeared the Yankees were running away with the AL lead, but a post-All-Star break slump has seen the team go 10-20 since the Midsummer Classic and 5-14 in August.

Still, the Yankees and Astros are essentially locked into playoff spots in the AL, but the race beyond those teams has become very entertaining, and the current picture could look vastly different by next week.

As for the NL, the Dodgers and Mets will likely earn first-round byes, and it's hard to imagine any of the Cardinals, Phillies or Padres losing a playoff spot to either the Brewers or Giants.

Still, it could happen, so keep an eye on the Phillies, Padres and Brewers as we inch closer to the regular-season finale in early October.

For a better look on each team's probability to make the postseason, take a look at FanGraphs' MLB Playoff Odds.


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